Jump to: navigation, search

The Times (01/Jan/1937) - The films

(c) The Times (01/Jan/1937)


During the past year the British film industry made steady though slow progress. Mr. Alexander Korda, with unusual daring, ignored the insistent demands for sentiment and romance, and attempted to express through the medium of the screen some of the ideas contained in Mr. H. G. Wells's book "The Shape of Things to Come." The attempt was commendable, but not wholly successful. Humanity itself seemed insignificant compared with the magnificent architectural settings of a world not yet realized. The Man Who Could Work Miracles related Mr. Wells's joke in a new but more limited form, and in Rembrandt Mr. Korda showed how difficult it is to attempt a portrait of Rembrandt or of anyone else that he habitually painted. At the end of the film, however, Mr. Charles Laughton managed to look surprisingly like one of the self-portraits in old age. Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, in The Secret Agent and Sabotage, justified the reputation he has already built up as a director of scenes of excitement and suspense. Rhodes of Africa was a prudent and well-informed record of the chief events in the life of Cecil Rhodes. As You Like It, with Miss Elisabeth Bergner as Rosalind, marked the first attempt in this country to reproduce on the screen one of Shakespeare's plays. In November the committee appointed by the Board of Trade to consider the position of the British film industry issued its report and recommended the continuance of the Films Act in a new and amended form.

The most distinguished film from America last year was The Story of Louis Pasteur, a moving and unsentimental tribute to a great scientist, Mr. Charles Chaplin, after an absence of five years, returned to the screen with. Modern Times, a satire on a highly industrialized civilization. Among other films worthy of mention are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Romeo and Juliet, Green Pastures, Ah! Wilderness, Fury, Desire, and These Three. Productions from the Continent were well below the usual standard except for La Kermesse Heroique and Mayerling, of which the latter reconstructed the tragedy of the Archduke of Austria and Marie Yelsera.